Confidentiality is essential to the work of The Ombuds Office. The ombudsperson will not identify you or discuss your concerns with anyone unless you give permission, and only to the extent that you permit. In very unusual circumstances, such as a court order, or if the ombudsperson believes that disclosure is necessary to address an imminent risk of serious harm and all other options appear to have been exhausted, information may need to be shared.
The ombudsperson functions on an informal and off-the-record basis. She listens, receives and provides information, helps to clarify issues and develop a range of responsible options. With the permission of the visitor or caller, and at her discretion, the ombudsperson may seek additional information or clarification to better understand the nature of a problem.
Speaking to the ombudsperson does not constitute “legal” notice to Brown University. The ombudsperson follows no prescribed sequence of steps, and does not participate in any formal grievance process. If you wish to engage in a formal procedure, such as filling a grievance or putting the University on notice, the ombudsperson can give you information about how to do so.
The Ombuds office officially reports to the President about issues and trends but is independent of any University structure. The ombudsperson advocates for fair process and its implementation.
The Ombuds office provides an impartial and objective resource for the faculty and post doc community. The ombudsperson looks for ways for individuals and groups to create mutual understanding and benefit. She considers the rights and interests of all parties and does not take sides. The ombudsperson has no decision-making authority and does not judge, discipline or reward anyone.
The Brown Ombuds Office follows the Standards of Practice of The International Ombuds Association - please find more information on the IOA website.